Allegra Trout seemed to be a Miss;
Mr. Whitman might be a gardener, or botanist;
Robert Trout enjoyed riddles.
Allegra Trout had cast a spell over the village.
Robert Trout has spellbound Lavender, causing her to buy a vast quantity of tea. (He hadn’t caused it directly, but she felt sure their exchange spurred her impulsiveness.)
They all needed some light.
With the story taking place in Bellville, Ontario I was immediately intrigued to read Jeanette Lynnes’ novel since I have family who live there. With descriptions of the Bay of Quinte and familiar street names, I found myself thinking about the Bellville I know today and imagining what Bellville of 1860 had looked like and how different it would have been.
As the book opens, the reader is introduced to the main character, Lavender Fitch as she pushes her cart towards the train station to sell cut flowers from her garden to make ends meet for herself and her ward, Arlo Snook, since the death of her parents. It is on this day that she first encounters the mysterious Trouts – the infamous spirit medium, Allegra and her partner Robert who have come to Bellville to entertain the crowds.
I enjoyed Jeanette Lynes’ use of floriography (the symbolic language of flowers) to complement Lavender’s story.
Thank you HarperCollins Canada for this ARC.